When I was a kid celebrating my birthday at school was always my favorite part of the year. My mom would always bake and ice sugar cookies and put them in fancy little bags for my classmates which made me feel like a rock-star! Even though I was a relatively shy kid I loved having my classmates tell me how pretty my cookies were and having the class sing to me (even as a kid I liked being the center of attention!)
These days it’s very common to have school-wide policies that don’t allow cupcakes or cookies in the classroom. Whether it is because of allergies or just too many lime green icing stains on the carpet it is easy to celebrate your student’s big day without rainbow cupcakes with those fancy plastic rings.
Make sure that your parents know about your policy for birthday treats right away. My first year of teaching I had a birthday during the first week of school and I wasn’t sure what to do when a parent showed up early with a big tray of cupcakes. Setting expectations at open house or within the first week will help make birthdays a fun (not stressful) experience!
Things to think about:
- Will you allow food treats? If so, do they need to be store bought or is homemade okay?
- If you aren’t going to allow food treats can parents send in other treats like pencils, stickers, or toys?
- Or, would you prefer to celebrate by having the parent donate a book or game for the entire class to enjoy?
Most teachers celebrate their students by treating their students on their special day. I have seen so many adorable (and inexpensive ways) to celebrate your students’ special days. My favorites include birthday balloons which are a paper balloon shape attached to a pixie stick or a curly straw.
Teachers can also celebrate their students without a gift. You could let your student sit at a special birthday chair, give them a birthday badge/sash/button to wear, or even just let them have a special job that day.
CELEBRATING WITH CLASSMATES
In addition to feeling the love from their teachers, classmates also LOVE to celebrate their peers’ birthday. Whether that is by singing, making cards (hello authentic writing experience!) or doing a word bubble like this idea from Tracie Stier-Johnson. Regardless of how you celebrate your student’s birthday I am sure it will be a memory they will have for years to come!
How do you celebrate student birthdays in your classroom?